Girl birds as bright as boys

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

WELLING­TON: Colour­ful plumage in birds isn’t al­ways for boys and may have lit­tle to do with at­tract­ing a mate, a new study ex­plains.

The study, which in­volved re­searchers from Aus­tralia, Canada and Ger­many, found that so­cial fac­tors could ex­plain bright feathers on some birds, said Massey Univer­sity sci­en­tists in New Zealand.

The find­ings chal­lenge the ortho­dox ex­pla­na­tion for the brighter colour­ing of males of some species, which was the sex­ual se­lec­tion the­ory that pre­dicted males ben­e­fited in com­pet­ing to at­tract fe­males.

The sci­en­tists an­a­lysed the coloura­tion of al­most 6 000 species of passer­ine birds, com­monly known as “song­birds”, that in­clude more than half of all bird species.

They found in ar­eas where fe­males had to com­pete for mates, or de­fend ter­ri­tory, they were brightly coloured, but when en­vi­ron­men­tal pres­sures on fe­males were re­laxed, they lost their bright coloura­tion. – Xin­hua

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.